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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 052 Timothy Roberts


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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show

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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 052 Timothy Roberts

  1. 1. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 1 of 22 EPISODE #52: TIMOTHY ROBERTS On episode 52 of "Diamonds in Your Own Backyard: The Entrepreneurs Radio Show,” Travis and Sandra are going to be chatting with Tim Roberts, who manages several chapters of Business Networking International or BNI and is the founder of Success Through Referrals, which is a web-based training company that teaches entrepreneurs about how to effectively get referrals. Throughout the interview, Tim will point out the five most common mistakes people make when trying to expand their network. Listen in as he gives us a fresh perspective on how to build those business relationships. Timothy Roberts – Using referrals to grow your business Travis: Hey, it‟s Travis Lane Jenkins. Sandra: And this is Sandra Champlain. Travis: Welcome to Episode Number 52 of the Entrepreneurs Radio Show. Hi, Sandra. Sandra: Hi, Travis. Number 52, wow! Travis: I know. Sandra: What content we‟ve been delivering. It‟s been very exciting doing these with you. Travis: Are you impressed? Sandra: I am. Travis: You should be. Sandra: Fun. Fun. Travis: Let me tell you about our guest today. Sandra: Okay. Travis: Okay. Today we‟ve got Timothy Roberts. He likes to go by Tim. Tim is from BNI Network. He manages several groups. I may not be using the right terminology, but ultimately what I want to convey
  2. 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 2 of 22 to you is that Tim is an absolute pro when it comes to networking, in a way that brings value to your business. Sandra: And teaching us how to do the same so that when we‟re at an event, we don‟t come across as being one of those disgusting people that just try to sell, sell, sell; how to properly navigate through any interaction you have with a human being that can ultimately end up in a good quality relationship and a good possibility of a sale and a good customer. Travis: Yes, exactly. Hey, listen. Before we get started, I want to remind you to be sure and stay with us until the very end if you can. We‟d like to share a little inspiration with you, and we‟ll also reveal who we‟re going to connect you within the next episode. Also, one quick reminder—I know Sandra loves when I do these repetitive reminders—if you enjoy these free podcasts that we create for you, we‟d really appreciate it if you go to DIYOB, which is short for,, and click on the iTunes icon, post a comment and rate the show. This would help us reach, instruct and inspire more great entrepreneurs just like yourself with each and every guest. One thing before I introduce Tim, I wanted to mention a couple of other things that we‟re going to cover that I think is just really brilliant. We talk about the five common mistakes people make when networking or when not networking for their business, and then also the five most common things or the five top things that you should focus on to get success out of your networking efforts. Right, Sandra? Sandra: Yes. This interview is really going to have you inspired, I hope, like it did Travis and I, and have you just ready to take some action right now and get out there networking. Travis: Yes. We‟ve already done the interview, and we‟re doing the intro now. We like to do that so that we can give you an accurate feel of what‟s coming up. So, without further ado, let‟s get started. Let me go ahead and introduce you to the guest. What do you say, Sandra? Sandra: Yes. Let‟s hear from Tim Roberts himself. Travis: All right. Without further ado, welcome to the show, Tim. Tim: Well, thank you for having me. Travis: Thanks for taking your time out. Sandra? Sandra: Glad you‟re here. This is a new area that we‟re dabbling into, hearing what you‟re doing, and we‟re excited to hear your story of how you got involved with BNI and what it‟s all about. Tim: That sounds great. I appreciate the opportunity.
  3. 3. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 3 of 22 Travis: Yes. I wanted to jump in and ask you: before we talk about what it is that you teach, which I know is referral-based, can you give us the back-story of how you got started and what brought you to where you‟re at today? Tim: Yes. It‟s probably a longer story I can make quick. I‟m currently the owner of multiple franchises of a networking organization called BNI, but then just this past year I also started a training company called Success Through Referrals, which is all online training on networking. Really, how I got into it: I was fortunate to find my passion—being, as odd as it is to be, about networking--at a very early age. It‟s been my primary focus between BNI and Success Through Referrals for the past decade now. I also ran a business before when I was doing insurance and financial planning, and I was trying to network my business and had success with BNI but struggled with other parts. I just realized how little people are actually even talking about or teaching the concept that is so vital for every business owner‟s success. I had a past story of why it‟s my passion, but it‟s ended up being something that I‟ve become extremely passionate about—is just really helping in teaching the sole proprietor, the sales professional, how to grow their business more efficiently, more effectively and, most importantly, more enjoyably by creating a pool of high-quality referrals coming in so that they‟re not cold calling or going door to door and doing the things that nobody really likes because of consistent rejection. Travis: Right, right. Do you mind sharing the back-story of why it‟s a passion of yours? Tim: Yes. No, absolutely. I love sharing it because one of the things I teach is the importance of knowing your why: know why you are really doing whatever it is you‟re doing. For me, it started, and it took some time to figure this out--I don‟t think anybody ever knows their real why until they think about it. We just subconsciously lead ourselves into a direction that fits us. Travis: Right. Tim: Mine goes back to my junior year of high school. When I was a junior in high school… I ended junior year high-school, I was going to private high school. I was playing hockey, which is not the cheapest sport in the world to be playing, but I‟m from the northeast, so it‟s a popular one. My family and my parents were two-income family. My father was a fire marshal for our town and a head trainer for the Fire Academy. My mom… my mother was a controller for a large photography company. Well, my father, that year, decided to retire right on the 20th year. That story‟s because they brought in a new chief when he didn‟t want to be chief, and they were oil and water, didn‟t get along well with each other, so he was marking his calendar to the day he could leave. So he did. When his 20 years came up, he retired and went and started his own small business doing business lending, account receivable lending. Essentially, our family went from two-income to one-income as my father was trying to build his business. A little bit of a hit, but I didn‟t see anything. I‟m still at high school. My parents are pulling me out of private high school. Your junior year, you start planning to go to college. That was always a
  4. 4. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 4 of 22 dream of mine and my parents. To this day, I was still the only one who‟s graduated from a four-year degree besides my mother. I was the next in line to do that. So they had their plans to make it work and do that until two weeks later when my mother was laid off. Now you go from two-income family to a no-income family rather quickly, and my mother started her own small business, too. They had savings, so they were doing that, but they both struggled to get new businesses off the ground. I watched and paid attention, as much as a high school student really pay attention, but saw them working extra hours, going out to networking events, trying to build their business and struggling to do so. Fortunately, this was back in the late „90s, so the housing market was really good, and they were able to refinance their house multiple times and get money out that way, and they racked up credit card debt because they were trying to make sure that me and my sister, who was also in high school--our lives weren‟t impacted, and we weren‟t really seeing it, right? They were pointing us out to school. They weren‟t… Our Christmases weren‟t… We didn‟t struggle, really. They fortunately… That‟s how we got involved in BNI originally, too. They got involved in this organization, and there was no training. There was none of that. My father‟s passion has always been training. He was the trainer for the fire department, so he‟s been successful in that part. Then in college, I started interning for the insurance company I was working for, and I struggled to do some of the networking to a level because, again, nobody‟s really teaching us. I was able to build my business up and be successful at it, but I also found that I just--I hate it. I just hated selling life insurance. I would find myself driving to client meetings hoping they would cancel because I just didn‟t want to do it. Sandra: Aw. Tim: Again, one of the things I teach is not to let other people define success for you. A lot of people thought I was crazy when I left that to do BNI full time and to do this networking thing full-time because I was making a lot of money. I was commission only, but I had my own staff I was paying. I was 23. I was doing a lot of good things, but I was miserable. I was doing trainings for the BNI at that time for free, and I just love doing that stuff, so I made it my full- time occupation. It took some time for me to figure out why was it that I love talking about word-of- mouth marketing, of all things, for free and hated the thing that was paying me thousands of dollars. Travis: Right. Tim: After some searching, I found that, “Well, what do I do now?” I teach in how business owners, sales professionals--how to grow their business in an effective way so that they don‟t have to struggle like my parents did, or even I did, to a lesser extent, but really, what my parents had to go through to make sure that their dreams and goals could still happen for them and for their kids. I want to be the
  5. 5. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 5 of 22 one that shows them and helps them learn the skill set that is networking that, really, nobody was offering then and very few people are offering now. Travis: How old are you? Tim: I‟m 32. Travis: Thirty-two. That‟s really good clarity. I had some pretty incredible success with my very first business, which was a local construction company, and one of the key pieces of that success was an informal network of people that absolutely loved me and referred me. That, mixed in with several other strategies, can really ramp a business up and make it successful 12 months a year rather than just having a couple of good months and then giving it all back. I think that‟s probably one of the things that you teach as well--is a constant flow of new leads, new business that stabilizes the business, right? Tim: Yes, absolutely. Get rid of the ebbs and flows, like you‟ve talked about. The whole point of Success Through Referrals is really to teach me how to create that pipeline, if you will, of referrals coming in from all different types of networks. We look at networking as like a paradox. Everybody knows they need to do it, so everybody assumes they know. They assume they know how to do it, and that‟s the biggest problem. We, as a society, a business society, business owners, are trained to be very good at what we do, but nobody is really training us on how to find people to do that with. Sandra: How do we start? I want a network. I am, a little bit, but I think there‟s a whole wealth of information you probably have getting people started, like the total beginner that‟s done the best they can with the resources they have. What are we missing? Tim: A lot of it is just… We‟ve been conditioned incorrectly to even think of how networking works, and that‟s the biggest problem. You hear business owners and sales professionals all the time say things like, “Oh, you know, networking doesn‟t work. I‟ve gone to this event. I‟ve gone to that event. I don‟t get anything out of it,” and there‟s multiple reasons. I mean, I can talk for hours about this stuff. Number one is they‟re conditioned incorrectly to even know how it works. Most of us are led to believe that, “Hey, if we do a good job and we offer good customer service, we‟ll get more referrals, and that people who know us, like us and trust us will pass us good referrals.” Neither one of those is really true because if it was just a matter of doing a good job and offering good customer service, nobody would ever need to network. You would just be inundated with referrals because we all do our jobs well. I haven‟t met the person who says they do a bad job. Sandra: Right. Tim: Everybody does their job well, so what‟s the issue? The issue there is that doing a good job and offering good customer service--that stuff is expected. Actually, studies have been done to show that that does more for you to prevent negative word-of-mouth marketing than it does to promote positive
  6. 6. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 6 of 22 word-of-mouth marketing; meaning, we don‟t typically go out and proactively talk about our good experiences as customers. Sandra: Okay. Tim: If you think about a restaurant you‟ve gone to that was really good, you don‟t proactively go out and try to tell people about it. It might come up in a conversation here and there, but it‟s very few, compared to if you ate at a really bad restaurant--we‟re telling everybody. Sandra: Right, right. Tim: We‟re conditioned in that. Then knowing, liking us and trusting us, well, what I always ask people when they say that‟s true is: “Well, how many of us are getting consistent referrals from our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends from high school, friends we had before we were in the business we‟re in today?” We don‟t typically because it‟s a different type of relationship. First thing you have to do is get the mindset of what you‟re trying to accomplish in networking, and networking is all about building business relationships. It‟s not about getting a tangible result at a networking event. It‟s developing a relationship that will provide tangible results down the line. If we can get the concept, that‟s one. Two is: stop selling. That‟s the biggest mistake. People are going to networking events, and they never start networking. They just keep selling. They sell themselves. They sell a product or service. They‟re pushing things to people, and so they‟re really turning people off. Sandra: That‟s ugly. Yes, I‟ve been around that. Tim: Yes, and there‟s a whole skill set to that. Sandra: Yes. Tim: There‟s a whole skill set to that. We don‟t even realize we‟re selling half the time just because we have to be able to flip that switch and nobody‟s ever really taught us how to do that. We‟ve been trained how to sell a product or service. The worse is you could go to a networking event and you start talking about how great your customer service is, how well you‟ll take care of people and yadah-yadah-yadah. You‟re selling yourself at that point, and, again, it‟s all the expected stuff and it‟s exactly what your competitors are saying at the exact same time, believe it or not. It starts with getting the mindset right and then learning the skill set, like how do you take advantage of these different types of networking opportunities? And each one presents something different from structured networking, like BNI to your social networking, like the Chamber of Commerce, to your online networking like Facebook. “I was listening to your show,” the social media--that‟s a whole different approach to how do you approach friends and family, and how do you approach current customers? I
  7. 7. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 7 of 22 was trained, when I was in sales, to get referrals by sitting down my customers and saying, “Well, the way you really pay me is by giving me referrals, so let‟s go over the people you know.” This is a horrible tactic that doesn‟t work. Travis: Yes. That is kind of the old-school way of doing things. There was a time when there was so much business for everyone and it was so abundant that you didn‟t have to put as much effort in. There was a certain amount of truism into, if you were really, really good at what you did, that a flow of business would come to you, but those days… Number one: that‟s not a strategy. It‟s just something that you hope happens. Then number two: those days are long gone. There‟s not an abundance of business for everyone. So you have to have a system for the way that you communicate with people and generate referrals and all those other things. Is that what you‟re saying? Tim: Yes. When I talk about good customer service doesn‟t equal more referrals…Trade is definitely one that I‟ve always had--pushed back from that. I run my whole businesses with word of mouth, and that‟s exactly what you‟re hitting on. Right, there was a time when people were always looking to do new things in their house, in their business, building, that kind of stuff. Travis: Right. Tim: And because you did a good job, when they talk to their friend who just did the same thing, you got the referrals and there seemed to be an easy flow. That‟s slowing down. The truth is that—and I have done a video on my website for free on this--that I believe word-of-mouth marketing is more important today than it ever has been before because even though we‟re slowly coming out of the recession, and maybe businesses that seem to be as abundant as it was once and it isn‟t, the truth is the business is still out there; however, your customers have changed forever. How our customers look for business and make buying decisions is different than it was five, seven, eight, ten years ago. What I mean by that is: your customers are now more value-driven than they‟ve ever been before. I think a lot of people you see, a lot of companies trying to make price points a topic of conversation, they‟re misled to think that people buy on price. People don‟t buy on price. They buy on value. However, if they have no way to differentiate the value from you and from your competitor, then the only point of value they will have is price. Unless you‟re the cheapest in town, you‟re going to have a hard time. Even traditional marketing is becoming harder and harder and less effective in that sense. I always believe if you sell by price, you‟ll die by price. Travis: Right. Tim: If you‟re selling because you‟re the cheapest, then you‟re going to lose that client to the next cheapest person. There‟s a lot of industries doing that right now. So the question is: how do you become perceived as more valuable than your competitor? Well, the most effective way is to have somebody that your potential customer knows and trusts say, “Hey, you should be working with this guy
  8. 8. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 8 of 22 or this person.” When you get a really good referral, price doesn‟t usually even come up because there‟s a lot of credibility and everything there. Learning the skill set to develop a team of people around you who are actively able to and willing to look for referrals for you, I think, is more important today than it ever has been. Travis: I think we‟re going back to the old way of doing business many, many years ago, maybe in the „50s, „60s--not that I was alive or cognizant of how it was done but how I perceive it was done then— and what I mean is, just like you said, most people… The knowledge has shifted to the prospect, to the buyer, and all of these different forms of media and advertising are ancillary ways to bring in customers, but I think the older methods of relationships are spurning the majority of the business, which is exactly what you‟re talking about. It‟s happening through social media. It‟s happening one to one. It‟s happening through a variety of things. For me, I think I‟m basically saying the same thing that you are saying, just from a different direction. Do you agree with that? Tim: Yes. Yes, absolutely. I think you even hear that out there. People are saying… I actually did a presentation for a large bank for a lot of managers and even somebody of them said, “Oh, networking is a fad. It comes and goes.” I just don‟t believe that. It just seems that way because when things were really good, it just seemed easier. It seemed like things are coming in. Now that it‟s slowed, people are slowly going back to, well, what got them there originally. So, yes. Travis: Right. What do you… Sandra: Tim, I… Oh, sorry, Travis. Travis: No. Go ahead, Sandra. Sandra: Well, I just want to ask… I mean, I just see the typical scenario when I go to an event: the selling, the selling, the selling, and it‟s disgusting. People I find don‟t listen, and it‟s all about them and it can be a real turn-off. You say that step number one is to stop selling. Then what do you do when you‟re in an event where you‟re with people? What‟s the best way to navigate through that? I think most people assume when you‟re networking, you get to share what you‟re up to. Like you say, it‟s pushy and it‟s ugly. What do we do? Tim: Preparation is the key to any level of success, and you prepare for the event. So to give you one little tip, if I will, out of the program I‟m creating now for the Success Through Referrals is how to take advantage of the fact that 99 percent of the people at that the event are not prepared. That‟s what happens. They don‟t go in prepared to network, so they just keep doing what they do the rest of the day which is sell. What we don‟t realize is that as much as we love to buy things in this country--I mean, we all love to buy stuff--we hate to be sold anything. I always ask, “How many of you have ever been sold something?” Very few hands go up. “Have you ever bought something?” They‟re like, “Yes.” Then you probably were sold. It‟s just our psychology of it. What happens is if you‟re going out selling, selling,
  9. 9. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 9 of 22 selling, people are… They‟re not listening. They actually naturally shut down and think of all the reasons why they don‟t need your product and service, even though they might be the best candidate for it. It makes it impossible for them to think about who does. So what you do is you plan some questions that you would love to be asked. The next time you go to a chamber event, think of two to three questions that you want somebody to ask you. Examples could be: “What‟s your dream referral?” or “What are your three best customers right now?” things like that. “How did you get into the business you‟re in?” Things that you know that, based on--if somebody asked you that question, you would give an answer that would make the conversation meaningful and impactful for you. Sandra: Okay. Tim: So you think of those questions and you think of your answers because you can‟t properly listen in a conversation if you‟re trying to think of what you‟re going to say next. You really have to prepare your answers. Then what you do is you go out and start asking people these questions. What‟s going to happen is people are going to be caught off-guard because nobody‟s been asking these questions before. Sandra: Oh, I know where you‟re going. Tim: Right? Sandra: Yes. Tim: They‟re going to get caught off-guard. They‟re going to give you answers. They‟re going to remember the conversation. They remember you, after which is the first step to building that relationship because you sounded different than everybody else and you‟re asking them personal questions that nobody has ever asked them before. Then because they‟re not prepared, the natural response after they give the answers is to do what? Sandra: They ask you the same question. Tim: Yes. Sandra: Yes! I love that. Tim: “How about you? Thanks for asking. Let me give you my answer.” Now you‟re engaging them in a meaningful conversation that‟s going to be remembered. You‟re getting answers that if you sincerely listen to are going to help you build a relationship that you can build off of. You can thank people. You can follow up on that conversation. There‟s a million things you can do with that, and you‟re doing the same: you‟re giving prepared answers that are making this conversation meaningful for you.
  10. 10. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 10 of 22 Sandra: Well, at any time you care about somebody, so you‟re asking them those questions, which, I mean, they‟re personal to you, and so it shows the person you‟re asking that you really care, and when people feel they‟re cared about, I think there‟s a connection made, right? Tim: Right. Absolutely. Like I said, it‟s all about relationship building. Sandra: I love it. Tim: The first step. Sandra: Hey, I have a dumb question. BNI--does that stand for Business Networking International? Tim: Business Network International. Yes. It‟s the world‟s largest networking organization. It has about 150,000 members in 51 countries right now. Sandra: Wow! I haven‟t done my research on that. There‟s different chapters in different places, and what kind of things happen through those? Tim: Yes. It‟s a weekly networking meeting. It‟s a one-person-per-profession type of networking organization. What we have is different chapters who are made up of local business professionals, and they develop a… We call them chapters. I tell my chapters to look at them as success teams. We‟re developing a team of people around them that are committed to meeting with them every week and getting to know them and to train them on how to find you referrals. It‟s all about results, compared to…We‟d work hand in hand with other networking opportunities like your Chamber of Commerce and those kinds of things. It‟s just about deepening relationships and getting actual tangible results from that, and so there are… I oversee between our regions. We have New Hampshire, Maine, Western Massachusetts and two in Florida. We oversee about 27 to about 3,000 members and help them tangibly grow their business. Our members last year did just shy of about 100 million dollars in take-home business through referrals, and that‟s just in our region. Worldwide is 3.3 billion dollars of referrals passed last year. Sandra: Wow! So one thing I‟m seeing is… Travis and I talk a lot about the value of Masterminds and how we‟re so much successful when we‟re part of a group. I‟m getting this picture now of a team put together of like-minded people all on different industries that really support each other. I‟m sure it‟s a fun environment. You get to trust each other, and then it just builds from there. Tim: Yes, absolutely. It‟s a little bit different than a Mastermind. I‟m a big proponent of Masterminds because Masterminds more talk about--at least ones I‟ve been a part of—what‟s going on in the industry and sharing ideas. This is very referral-specific, so we‟re talking about what you‟re looking for in referrals and training your members on how to find those for you, and then getting to know each other at a deeper level of business. It basically gives you the structure and the atmosphere to develop
  11. 11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 11 of 22 those strong business relationships that‟s needed, and then as an organization, as an executive director, my job is to train and support our members. We coach them on how to use that system. We train them on how to use that system specifically. Why I created Success Through Referrals is because, again, there are so many other types of networking that you should be doing as well that companies and industries aren‟t really training and there is nobody is training it in an effective way online. That‟s what I‟m trying to do: be a little innovative with it with today‟s technology. Sandra: So Success Through Referrals is your business, right? Tim: Right. That‟s separate, yes. Sandra: That‟s your separate thing. And how do we find more about that? Tim: You can go right to Sandra: Well, that‟s easy. Tim: Yes. We have a Facebook page. If you go on Facebook and look up Success Through Referrals, it will come up. The way it‟s designed right now: I do a blog on there that‟s free. There‟s 10 free videos, The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Networking, that you can get for free right there. There‟s a basic membership that‟s like a monthly membership that gives you access to training videos that are constantly being added to that. I think there‟s close to 50 on there right now. Then this summer, we‟re going to be rolling out an actual… It‟s called the Success Through Referrals Masters Program, which is a step-by-step training program on how to fully utilize word-of-mouth marketing: how to strategize, how to make a plan, how do you take advantage of the different types of networking, how do you make a marketing plan for your word-of-mouth marketing, all that kind of stuff. That will be coming up this summer. Travis: Hey, Tim, I have a couple of things I want to throw at you, maybe a curve, but bringing a relevance to what we‟re talking about in instruction--because I want to make sure that we‟re giving as much value as possible--what are the top five mistakes you see when people are trying to generate referrals, or they‟re not doing maybe? Tim: In terms of referrals in general, like I said, they don‟t look to… Number one is they never network. They actually just keep selling. We talked a lot about that, that they go out to a networking event and they just push a product and do that. Number two is people are not active enough. The number one way word-of-mouth marketing and networking won‟t work for you is don‟t go and do it. What I mean by that is they‟ll go to an event but there‟s no consistency to it. If it‟s all about relationship building, you‟re going to realize that a business relationship is not much different than any other personal relationship you have. You don‟t build it
  12. 12. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 12 of 22 without seeing each other. That‟s why long-distance relationships hardly ever work is because it‟s the out of sight, out of mind. Number three is that they ask for referrals way too early in the process. What we don‟t think about is that when it comes to referrals… The way I look at a referral… When I say referrals, I mean like a high quality of--not a lead or, “Here‟s a name and number. Go chase that down.” I look at leads as nothing more than a cold call with a name to blame behind it. We‟re talking like you‟re getting referred to somebody who‟s ready, who‟s in the market for your product and service and they know who you are and all that. Well, that‟s really… If I‟m going to do that, I‟m putting my reputation… Travis: On the line. Tim: Yes. I‟m risking my reputation. So in order to do that, I have to have a relationship with you that I‟m comfortable enough to risk my reputation upon. I usually use the analogy… I don‟t know if you guys are married. I‟m married. I didn‟t go to my first date with my now wife with a ring in my pocket ready to propose marriage. Sandra: Right. Tim: It took years and some hope you had to get to. I asked them… They said, “Why wouldn‟t I do that? You‟d be crazy!” I said yes, but you do that every time you go networking. You meet somebody for the first time, you hand them your card, and you expect them to start passing you all their customers and clients and friends and family. They don‟t know who you are yet. They don‟t go to an event consistently and then they don‟t invest some time to actually develop a relationship with anybody they meet. They don‟t follow up on that introduction, that kind of stuff. Travis: So they don‟t nurture that relationship. Sandra: What a great comparison, yes. Travis: So that‟s three. Tim: Number four is that they don‟t ever learn how to do it. Again, it‟s just a paradox of it. We all know we need to do it, so we never really invest the time learning how to do it because we just assume that we must know how to do it, right? They don‟t do that. I would say the next biggest one… Travis: I know this is probably putting you on the spot by just throwing a random number out there. Tim: No, I think one is just people become… They‟re just not actively going out and networking in general. Especially in today‟s world, I think people rely on the social media stuff way too much. Travis: Yes.
  13. 13. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 13 of 22 Tim: Networking is a contact sport. You‟ve got to get out and shake some hands. You got to meet these people. If you think you‟re going to build a network of referrals for you by sitting in the corner office, on building a Facebook page and Twittering--and not to say those aren‟t important. They‟re truly important. I use them myself--but the idea is you don‟t get to where you want to be by being a faceless person on a computer. You have to actually get out there and foster… And then I say the last one, the biggest one of all, is people don‟t look to give before they ask. The number one way you‟re going to get things is if you look to see and you ask yourself, “How can I help this person?” Before I expect anything in return, what can I give them? We‟ve become a society now where it‟s me first. You‟ll literally hear people… I literally hear people say, “Well, I‟ll pass you a referral when you pass me one.” Well, if we‟re all on that mindset, nobody is going to get anything, so it doesn‟t really matter. Travis: Yes, I agree with you. Let‟s flip it around. What do you feel like the top five things--or maybe the answer is the inverse of what you just told us, and tell me if that‟s the case, what are the top five things that they should be doing? Tim: Number one—and obviously this going to sound selfishly but invest time really researching not only how to network but what type of networking is going to be right for you. I think another mistake people make is that they just go to every networking event they can think of, and they‟re just throwing their business cards around that and seeing what sticks. I think you need to research what are you looking to get out of it? How much time are you going to be investing into it or do you have to invest into it? And then what type of networkings are going to align with that? I don‟t think you should be doing just one type, but you shouldn‟t be trying to do everything either. Travis: Right. Sandra: Here‟s a question because I just don‟t know what kind of networking things could I even research. I don‟t even know what‟s out there. Tim: Well, one is to begin to look at what kind of organizations are in your area. Sandra: Okay. Tim: Is it a BNI type of networking organization you want to join where it has more time requirement but more structure and focus that increases the time for results? You have your Chamber of Commerce which are in every area, which gives you a great social networking aspect, a much wider area of context; meaning, many more people at an after-hours event, but again no structure for you to develop relationships, so you really need to do that. Your service organizations, Rotaries, Kiwanises, those kinds of things. Are you going to be doing online networking, and how are you going to do that? Because I think a mistake people make when it comes to social media is that they lose track of how much time they are actually putting into it.
  14. 14. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 14 of 22 I think researching what you want to do and then create a strategy for that is a big thing. Most people aren‟t doing it, and if you do that, you‟re going to be light years ahead. And then start thinking about and learning how to approach each one of those situations. Be prepared for any meeting you go to. Whatever type of organization it is, realize what that setting is going to be like and prepare yourself for it. Don‟t just blindly go in and see what sticks. You‟ve just really got to come up with a plan. Then realize that networking takes time, that as much as we become an immediate-results type of society--that‟s why we have emails and everything in our phones now--that you have to invest time to get these results because it is about relationship building. If you learn the skill sets of networking, it can take less time but it‟s still going to take time and that you have to be proactive with it. Then set up some kind of follow-up system with it. So when you‟re meeting somebody, have some kind of system in place with how you‟re going to follow up with them and try to build that relationship. Don‟t wait for the next event and hope that they show up and that you show up and you happen to see each other again. Travis: So, basically, one of the things I hear is just when you select, when you do the research to find out the different networking opportunities, make sure that there is an alignment within what you are doing so that the reciprocation makes sense, right? That‟s basically what I hear you saying, right? Tim: Yes, don‟t just blindly go to the next… The thing with networking is that, again, because we all know we need to do it and so many people are doing it, there‟s all these opportunities that are always popping up. So there‟s always a new networking organization or a new networking meeting to be going to, and you could easily waste a lot of time networking. And, frankly, most people do waste a lot of time networking, and mostly because there‟s no consistency. They‟re just jumping from event to event to event to event to event. So you really want to say, “Okay, what is my ultimate goal, and how would this align with that?” Also, do some research on the organization itself: what‟s the history if you can find any of it? What‟s the history of the organization? How long has it been around? Is there a support structure to it? Your Chamber of Commerce--they have a long-standing history. There‟s a reason why they exist beyond networking and a lot of opportunities for you to take advantage of and those kinds of things. Same thing with BNI. It‟s been around for 28 years now. It‟s a long-standing organization. So you want to know has there been a proven track record with results, for whatever results I‟m looking for from that? Don‟t just go to the next event and hope something works. Travis: Right, right. Kind of a hope and pray… Tim: Yes, and unfortunately that‟s what‟s happening. Because, again, most people are trained like I was trained in sales. They taught me how to sell. They taught me every closing style. They taught me what questions to ask the clients. Then they said, “Okay, go get them. Go network.” I didn‟t know what that meant, so I just started to go to networking meetings and had limited results because I didn‟t know
  15. 15. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 15 of 22 what I was doing. When you don‟t have the results, you get frustrated, so you don‟t go as much and it‟s just a perpetuating cycle. Travis: So I think we took you off the path of the top five of the suggestions. What we just discussed, would that roll up into your number one main suggestion, or do you feel like what we just talked about kind of covers one, two and three? Tim: Yes, it covers a lot of it, I think. Create a plan. If you want referrals to be a big piece of your incoming business--and for many, they want referrals to be their entire flow of business--you have to make that happen. You have to create some sort of plan and strategy to make that happen. So when it comes to networking, that‟s number one and through. Figure out what organizations you‟re going to fit that you want to join. Do the research on them, then learn and figure out your strategy for those and how you‟re going to do that. How are you going to follow up? Then the biggest ones is have the right mindset which is: this is going to take time. It can take less time than it does for most people, but it‟s going to take time, and that it‟s about business relationships. It‟s not about targeting the people in the room. It‟s about getting to know the people, getting to know them so they refer you to the people they know. Go in with the right mindset that… When I go to a networking event, I‟m not looking to get a sale out of it. We call that kind thing a networking disconnected. If you ever go to a networking event and ask people, “How many of you came here today hoping to sell something?” almost every hand will go up. And you say, “Well, okay, how many of you here today hoping to buy something?” And no hands will go up. And it‟s like, all right, that‟s the problem. Nobody‟s coming in with the right mindset. The mindset is I want to meet people that I can develop a relationship with. The final is the quickest way to build any of those relationships is look to give. Those conversation tips we talked about is one way of giving, right? You‟re asking them questions that nobody else has ever taken the time to ask them, and you‟re sincerely listening to those responses. You‟re starting that process. Travis: Yes, and there are some other rewarding things that come out of it. You build deep relationships with people. Not only do they refer you, they get very aggressive about referring you, to a point to where it‟s almost embarrassing at times. I‟ve got several people that are on my side, and they get very assertive with their neighbors, with their friends, with everybody, and sometimes in my presence and it embarrasses me, but that comes from having a deep relationship. Now I also could call that person on the phone at 12 o‟clock at night, which I try to never do to anyone, and they‟d answer the call and come help me on the side of the road. I say that to illustrate the point of building a deep relationship because there‟s very few people that get what you‟re going through anyways, with the exception of other business owners. So that‟s the other fulfilling piece of what‟s going on here--is you get to have a deep relationship with other people that are entrepreneurs and completely get you
  16. 16. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 16 of 22 because a lot of the non-entrepreneurial public don‟t get where we‟re coming from. So there‟s a lot of hidden value here that we hadn‟t even started to really drill into. Tim: Absolutely. There‟s so much intrinsic value to networking beyond the referrals. We‟re all starting everything because we‟re looking to get referrals. With our BNI chapters, I tell them, “Look at how many years of business experience exist in this room every week that you can tap into if you have questions, concerns, new marketing ideas. Create that team.” It‟s kind of my mission now on Success Through Referrals and BNI to show people that, “Look, we don‟t need to be constantly competing with each other.” We‟ve got to get away from coming from a scarcity mentality, that we can all work together for the common benefit of everybody. We all have a different definition of what success means, but we all are searching for some level of success, and that if we collaborate and build a team around these deep relationships, we are far more likely to get there together than we are on our own. The idea is that people just need to get out of their house and stop feeling like they are alone. They‟re not alone. There‟s millions of us out there, but just because you show up to an event doesn‟t mean l know you and that I‟m suddenly going to pass you referrals. You have to invest that time to want to build a relationship with me as much as you want me to build the same relationship with you, and show that and be sincere about it. If you do that, magical things can happen. Travis: Amen to that. Sandra: Hey, I‟m thinking, last night, I was travelling home from Los Angeles back to Boston, and I‟m a newly published author, Tim. I‟m sitting next to a lady before we board the flight and she‟s, “Oh, you know, business or pleasure? You‟re going home,” and all that normal chitchat. The first thing that goes through my mind is, “I just want to sleep. I don‟t want to talk.” I have a pocketful of business cards with my book. It became a bestseller on Amazon just recently, number one. And it‟s like you just never know who you‟re talking to. I had that moment of courage, that she says, “What do you do for work?” My main profession is provide hospitality and food for racecar teams. She says, “Well, that‟s interesting.” But you know what else is interesting is that I‟m a newly published author. Well, I got into that conversation, and next thing you know, she runs a book club in Boston. And she says, “Gosh, we‟ve never had an author come and speak at a book club.” I‟m wondering, from you, it‟s not just networking events and social media, Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis, but how do you just network in life? Because we are filled and surrounded with people at all times. Is there any structure or even your “think of two to three questions you want to be asked”--is there any kind of that just for day-to-day life? Because you never know who you are with at a restaurant or sitting next to on an airplane. Do you have any tips on that? Tim: Yes. It all depends on kind of that situation. In an airplane, like in your situation, it is a matter of just being sincere. It‟s the same thing. If you have those questions prepared, they‟re always kind of prepared. If you could think of questions that you would love to be asked, everybody loves to be asked those questions because nobody‟s asking those questions. Now a lot of that… The high majority of
  17. 17. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 17 of 22 people are really introverts, too, so that‟s where they get uncomfortable with that kind of stuff. I think the more that you start networking with other people, the more you become comfortable with it in general, and you‟ll start having those conversations on planes you didn‟t normally have. At restaurants and those kinds of things, how do we network with family and friends and that kind of stuff? I say, “In those situations, you want to be seen as a resource.” You don‟t try to pitch your business on why they should be passing you referrals. You just want it to become, where your friends and family, anytime they have an issue or some kind of problem, they call you first. Because you always seem to know the person that can help them, and you become that resource. There‟s a beer commercial that‟s been playing lately that I link this to that‟s funny because the guy‟s talking and they‟re like, “We‟re going to go to this restaurant because my brother‟s sister‟s aunt‟s uncle whatever knows the person and we‟re going to do this because of this, this, this and this,” and it‟s like, “Yes.” And they‟re all joking, laughing about it, but that‟s kind of like how I am with a lot of my friends because of my networking, and it‟s like… But you know what, I‟m a resource. They‟re far more likely now to hear the issues that I can directly help them with because they‟re always thinking of me first whenever they hear a problem. You never know who you‟re sitting next to. I firmly believe that, that everything happens for a reason. There‟s always an opportunity. You just don‟t know when that‟s going to happen or what that opportunity is going to present. Is it going to be down the line? Just be sincere and want to get--ask questions that you really want to know the answer to. Sandra: Yes, and sit there and actually care about the person, in the moment, even if you‟ve never met them before. Tim: Absolutely. Sandra: Awesome. Travis: Let‟s segue into the lightning round. Are you ready, Tim? Tim: Absolutely. Bring it on. Travis: Almost called you Timothy as if you were in trouble. Tim: I was going to say I must‟ve said something wrong. Travis: Are you ready, Timothy? I sent you three questions over because I wanted you to have a little time to think about this. Of course, we like to have just an organic conversation and really just let the conversation go wherever it goes. Although these three questions really require some reflection to give
  18. 18. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 18 of 22 the best answer, or at least my opinion, they do. What book or program made an impact on you related to business that you‟d recommend and why? Tim: So many, but the one I really thought of, and I‟m actually fortunate, I may be speaking at a conference in May in Tampa and he‟s actually the keynote speaker, is a book called “Inside the Magic Kingdom” by Tom Connellan. It‟s a great--if you‟re into the short reads, more parable reads, and it talks about the success of Disney and the lessons you can learn from that. I came up with an analogy, and a lot of it came from--one of the biggest pieces of that came from that book. My analogy for success, the four key principles, is how to get paid, which is passion, accountability, individual improvement and details. In that book, it talks about the importance of the minute details to your success. You can take that in any part of your business from how you run your day-to-day business to even in networking, how you dress, how you act, what you say. All those little details play a role. That‟s a fantastic book. Another one that I‟ve been recommending lately, too, is called--the title is “Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think,” which is actually written by Dr. Ivan Miser, who is the founder of BNI, Hazel Walker, who‟s a close friend of mine and an executive director, and Frank De Raffelle, who has been a mentor of mine. It talks about how men and women network differently, so you can learn how to approach the opposite sex to build the right business relationship. Sandra: Cool. Travis: Interesting. What‟s one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you‟ve recently discovered--doesn‟t need to be brand-new but maybe new to you--if any, that you would recommend to other business owners? Tim: Not really new, or even new to me, but I highly recommend is Dropbox, of all things. I‟m running basically five different franchises of BNI. We have managers and team members in five different states and then with Success Through Referrals, it‟s an easy way for people to be able to grab information, share information, all online. For me, if I‟m shooting my videos in my studio and I want to edit it somewhere else, I can put the files on Dropbox and you always have access to it. It‟s just something I use every day. Travis: Yes, that‟s a wonderful tool. I agree with you. What famous quote—doesn‟t have to be famous-- but what quote best summarizes your belief or your attitude in business? Tim: It‟s a quote that‟s actually a play of a Michael Jordan quote--I‟ve kind of tweaked it a little bit--but my belief is that, “We have two options when it comes to our futures. We can let it happen or we can make it happen.” Sandra: Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.
  19. 19. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 19 of 22 Travis: I really like that. Say that again. Let me marinate on that for a minute. Say that again. Tim: We have two options when it comes to our futures. We can let it happen or we can make it happen. Travis: I love that. I‟ve never heard that quote. Tim: Yes, it‟s an old… Michael Jordan said that there‟s people who talk about success and there‟s those who are letting it happen, those who are complaining about it, and then those who are making it happen, something like that. I just kind of tweaked it a little bit. It fits perfectly with networking. Everybody wants referrals. You have two options: you can sit back and hope they come in, or you can go out and make them. Travis: Yes, I agree with you. How do people connect with you? Tim: They can connect with me right through the Success Through Referrals site. They can email at, or right through our Facebook page is a great way. We‟re on that every day, posting new blogs or videos and conversations. Travis: Yes. You said you‟re on Twitter also. Tim: I am. It‟s @TimRobertsSTR which stands for the Success Through Referrals. Travis: Cool! Sandra? You have anything you want to add before I start transitioning here? Sandra: No, just a real thank you because, number one, for my book, and everything else I‟m up to. I know the value of networking, but I never put it in place as a tool to use and to be proactive. And I love the two to three questions. I‟m excited about taking action in my business, and I hope our listeners are, too. I‟m sure they are. And I just really want to thank you for shedding light on this and giving us a new tool to use. We did a lot within an hour, so thanks, Tim! Tim: Thank you, guys, for the opportunity. It is a unique passion, I think, word-of-mouth marketing, but for anybody who just has struggled with it and just wants to talk about it, they can e-mail me right through that site. I‟d happy to work with them on there in Success Through Referrals with the membership. We have forums for people to share ideas and share successes. I don‟t think I caught the name of your book. I know we‟re going to be sharing this with all our members and everything, so I‟d love it if you can tell me the name of the book. Sandra: Sure. It‟s called “We Don‟t Die: A Skeptic‟s Discovery of Life After Death.” Tim: Awesome! Sandra: Thanks for the share.
  20. 20. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 20 of 22 Tim: I look forward to reading it. Yes. Travis: Great. Lots of great information, Tim. A lot of actionable stuff that people can start doing. Does it cost to become—or what is the cost to become a member of BNI? Tim: BNI has an annual membership fee. The fee is going to be--starting June 1st, it‟s $410 dollars for a one-year membership. Your first year, it‟s a $150-dollar registration fee, so it‟d be $560.00. Then as they renew, they don‟t pay the registration fee, so it actually gets cheaper. I know everybody looks at dues and, “Oh, my God, it costs money to network.” Just the way I would put it for people when they look at any networking organization—I mean, BNI, Chamber has membership fees and everything else. In our regions of BNI, our average seat is worth $29,000 dollars on return, so that‟s good, but no matter what the networking organization is, the average American today spends—and this talks about price per value because people usually complain about paying to join a networking organization--the average American today spends over $1,200 dollars a year on coffee. Sandra: Oh, wow! That‟s clear. Travis: Puts it in perspective, doesn‟t it? Tim: Very. It‟s kind of that… We always look at… It‟s not the price. It‟s your value. A lot of people struggle with value from networking because, again, they have never really learned or been supported in how to do it. They may have paid money for some organization, didn‟t get results, and then they just say, “Networking doesn‟t work.” So it‟s a way to look at price point per value. Travis: Right. Great point. Can you hang out a couple of minutes, Tim? Tim: Absolutely. End of Interview Travis: Okay. Listen. I want to remind you guys to… All of the links to the books and the resources mentioned in the show are in the show notes section. Just go to, which is short for Also, when you‟re there, enter your name, and we‟ll send you the 2013 Business Owner‟s Guide to a Profitable Million-Dollar Business. It‟s a candid behind-the-scenes look at what you need to know to grow your business to incredible levels of success. What I‟ll tell you on this guide--it‟s critical to success and today‟s new economy. No one‟s really talking about many of these issues because they don‟t believe it‟s in their best interest or they just don‟t know. In the guide, we‟ll cover things like the 5 things you should know before hiring anyone to handle your marketing, 6
  21. 21. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 21 of 22 marketing common misconceptions that are costing you a fortune, the 5 skills that will determine the success of your business over the next 18 months, and lots more information for taking your business to that next level. All of this is free for just becoming a part of the Authentic Entrepreneur Nation. On our next show, we‟re going to connect you with the brilliant author of “Mastery,” Robert Greene--one of my absolute favorite books. You will love this guy. He deconstructs some of the most well-known people that had been incredibly successful, and just an absolutely fascinating guy and book. That conversation is going to be able to go on multiple of directions because he has really written several different books. Today I want to close the show, or before I close the show, I want to remind you that whether you know it or not, no matter where you‟re at as an entrepreneur, you‟re an inspiration to those around you to go after their dreams, too, so we want to encourage you to keep it up. My quote for closing the show today comes from Jim Rohn, and the quote reads, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” This is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now. Sandra? Sandra: Just lots of gratitude for being with us today and go take some networking action. Travis: Yes. To your incredible success, take care.
  22. 22. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‟s Radio Show Page 22 of 22 How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many “so called gurus” are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That‟s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it‟s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you‟re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn‟t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same. Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"